People interested in space and all things extra-terrestrial will get a special opportunity to watch an asteroid the size of a city block fly by Earth.
The large space rock, called asteroid 2012 LZ1 and estimated to be around 1,650 feet wide, will miss our planet by about 14 lunar distances, or 3.35 million miles, but it may fly by close enough to be caught on camera.
Enthusiasts will be able to watch the event live on the online sky-watching service Slooh Space Camera, which will have a telescope on the Canary Islands looking out for the asteroid. The stream will be live at 8:00 p.m. EDT tonight, although the exact minute LZ1 is scheduled to fly by is difficult to determine.
The website encourages people to snap and share their favorite photos of exciting sky-gazing events, such as this one. The asteroid will not be visible to the naked eye, which is why this robotic technology will come quite in handy.
The asteroid was actually only discovered a few days ago on June 10-11 by researcher Rob McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using the Uppsala Schmidt telescope, when McNaught and his team were working late at night.
Asteroid 2012 LZ1 has been labeled potentially hazardous because of its size and proximity to Earth, although it won't come as close as 2005 YU55, the asteroid that flew by only 202,000 miles from the Earth last November. Asteroids need to be at least 500 feet wide and come within 4.65 million miles of Earth to be placed in the "potentially hazardous" category.
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NASA has identified no less than 4,700 "potentially hazardous" asteroids in space that could possibly be dangerous to Earth, though many of them are many years away from coming within range of the planet.